Monday, 08 August 2022

Couple celebrate first year at village pub

THE landlords of the Horns in Crazies Hill held a party to celebrate their first year at the pub.

THE landlords of the Horns in Crazies Hill held a party to celebrate their first year at the pub.

More than 100 people attended the bash in the garden of the pub on Sunday, hosted by Adam and Sandra Purdy.

There was a barbecue as well as a performance by jazz singer Fleur Stevenson, from Wallingford.

Decorations including balloons in the shape of the number one were also put up around the pub.

Mr and Mrs Purdy took over at the pub after moving to the village from Lancashire.

They became the seventh tenants in as many years after John and Sarah Schlaefli left the business after just 18 months in charge. The couple have more than 20 years’ experience in the pub and restaurant trade, with Mr Purdy working as a chef in Michelin-starred restaurants and his wife as front of house.

They were married in September 2014 and moved to be closer to Mrs Purdy’s family in Newbury. The couple were presented with flowers and a card from residents at the party thanking them for their work over the last year.

The messages in the card included: “thanks for giving us our pub back” and “you saved our lives”.

Mr Purdy said: “It was a really good evening, everyone had a cracking time. We are more than happy with the first year and it’s gone so fast, it’s unbelievable. We are in for some competitions as well so everything is looking good.

“There are some fantastic people in this area but we are attracting more from further away too.”

He added: “The villagers have been great and the card from them was a fantastic surprise.”

Earlier this year, Wargrave Parish Council applied to Wokingham Borough Council to have the pub listed as an asset of community value but was turned down.

The parish council argued that the Horns was the last remaining pub for Crazies Hill and Cockpole Green and defined the identity of the villages. It added community groups including Crazies Hill and Cockpole Green Residents’ Association and the village cricket team used the pub as a meeting place and it provided car parking for parents with children at Crazies Hill Primary School.

But the borough council ruled that the pub did not “further the social wellbeing and interests of the local community”.

In April the council said it was considering appealing against the decision. However, any appeal could require an indication that residents would be willing to raise money to buy the pub should it be put up for sale by its owners, Henley pub company Brakspear.

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